1. Why are Curvy Yoga classes needed?
Curvy Yoga, created by founder Anna Guest-Jelley, offers a body positive space for people of ALL shapes and sizes, and abilities. Many people are intimidated to try yoga, especially if they believe their body doesn’t fit the stereotypical media representations of yoga. These classes are here so you can practice yoga in a safe and welcoming place.
I say that EVERY body is a yoga body (as long as that body wants to practice yoga).
Translation: Don’t automatically look to your curvier friends and family and insist that they need to try yoga if they have absolutely no interest!
It took me a long time to build up the courage to try yoga, and then again to walk into a yoga studio. As a student and teacher I’ve had some wonderful classes with teachers who knew how to respect each individual. Unfortunately, I’ve also experienced some classes where the instructors didn’t have the slightest idea what to do with my curvy body. In those cases I was ignored, singled out, and sometimes shamed. Those instances make me (they still happen) feel embarrassed and angry. They also make me aware that the need for safe spaces to practice is still very much needed!
2. How are these different from any other yoga class?
All yoga classes are different. Each teacher will bring their own knowledge, experiences, and energy to the class, which automatically makes it different.
In a Curvy Yoga class there is great attention placed on making sure that the class is accessible to each student that shows up to practice. A lot of it is being mindful of each person in the room. It's also about what poses, their order, and what props work best for each student in the class.
This doesn’t mean that this is a class where all poses are modified and no one feels like they aren’t able to do the “real” pose. It’s about practicing with other like-minded people who want to know how to make their practice their own. This may include learning some variations and options that make YOU feel good about being, and moving, on your mat.
No one is ignored, pushed into positions that aren’t good for them, singled out or shamed.
Curvy Yoga is simply another opportunity for people to find a class that works for them. The intention is to hold space for people to get what they need, when they need it.
3. Is Curvy Yoga a gentle form of yoga?
It’s usually people who have never taken my class, or those looking for an intense power yoga class, who describe it as gentle. I rarely use the word gentle to describe my classes. Mainly because people assume that gentle means easy. The words gentle and easy are so subjective. I prefer to say that they are accessible. Accessible is different from easy.
Sure, you won’t find me barking orders at you in class. You won’t hear me scream, “feel the burn” or make you keep working until you want to collapse on the floor exhausted. But you may hear me give you cues to help you get over a more challenging part of your practice.
What makes it more challenging? It’s different for each person.
One student may tell you that their class was hard as they walk up the stairs the next day and the muscles in their legs are reminding them of the “sweet burn” they noticed in class. Another may say that trying to keep still in meditation, or during the final relaxation, was the most difficult part. Yet another may tell you that these classes simply help her deal with the stress of her busy life.
4. Who is Olwen and why does she teach Curvy Yoga?
Great question! You can learn more about me over here on my About page, and you can read more about why I wanted to become Curvy Yoga certified and what you can expect when you work with me over on this Curvy Yoga blog post.
5. How can I practice Curvy Yoga on my own? I can't always make it to a class.
You're in luck! I highly recommend Curvy Yoga Studio so that you can follow along with several online streaming videos. You'll find classes that suit all experience levels (from beginner to more experienced), and they vary in length so you can find a class that fits your schedule the best.
6. What if I still have more questions?
Ask them! I love answering questions because I want you to be sure that these classes, and working with me, is right for you. Please don't hesitate to contact me.